Dec 12, 2011

Posted by in Features | 1 Comment

The Ideal Guild Quiz – A SW:TOR Resource You Don’t Want To Miss

A while back, you may have caught a glance of the Ideal Guild Quiz. It’s a great tool spearheaded by Eternal Vigilance, a prominent Republic guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Since the Guild Headquarters is going away on January 3rd, we thought this was a great time to catch up with them and find out a little more about this resource for players who are looking for a great guild.

Read on to learn more about it and how you can make it better!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Eternal Vigilance?

EV was founded in January 2005 by a group of 12 (whom had been in a previous guild together) with the notion of creating a very specific type of guild – one that was transparent and democratic, and in such a way that all members would feel a ‘sense of ownership,’ as opposed to the guild belonging to an elite few. We’re a multi-gaming guild with current divisions in SW:TOR, BF3, and a recent addition into table-top gaming with “Virtual Table Top RP” (more information can be found in our guild charter on our website).

Our founding members, like many, fondly remembered their days playing Star Wars Galaxies. Star Wars: The Old Republic was seen as an opportunity to re-enter the Star Wars universe and relive those fun times in a more modern era of the MMO genre. It was decided there were unique skill-sets, knowledge and experience – as well as a general passion for the concept of the game that would serve our members very well if a division were to be established in The Old Republic. Therefore, it was decided that if Eternal Vigilance were going to move forward with a division, it would be pursued in the “no holds barred” fashion that reflected our founders’ enthusiasm – this meant starting from Day 1, in October 2008, and we have been steadfastly preparing since.

I joined EV in September of 2010 after posting in the “Official Looking For A Guild” thread on the SW:TOR website. I was contacted by one of their recruiters (Davkul, who is now our Recruitment Officer), and after checking out the site, getting to know the members and playing some games with them, I found it was the guild I wanted to be part of. What originally sold me on EV was that very first PM – it was evident their recruitment team was truly empathetic to my needs described in my original post, as I was very specific on what I was looking for – my previous guild experiences were very limited, and although not necessarily bad, weren’t remarkable either. I knew the kind of guild I didn’t want, so on recommendation by a friend, I began the “looking” process anew – by the only means available I was aware of at the time, the LFG thread.

I’m 40, married, have two children, and work as a web developer in my ‘real life’ profession. I’ve been a gamer as long as I can remember, starting back with the original “Pong” my father bought when it first came on the market, and since then, I’ve played, or at least tried almost every major MMO (plus a ton of smaller one’s).

At the guild level in EV, I hold the position of Chief Architect, where I serve as the webmaster and admin for our website as well as working with our Elders Council to manage Charter amendments and voting – it’s a very rewarding experience on a personal level since I interact with all guild members across all divisions, and the webmaster side allows me to use my real-world experiences to help aid the guild in any web or technological needs (the IGQ for example).

Within the SW:TOR division, I serve in the position of the Executive Officer where I help our Commander Sadilyn Vylara, lead the division in a variety of aspects. Prior to being promoted to XO, I served as the Director (Officer title for our various agencies) of the Community Outreach Agency, and Director of the Morale Agency (my first Officer role).

How did the IGQ project come about?

The Ideal Guild Quiz (IGQ) was created in 2009 with the intent of helping the community – both guilds looking for new members, and for community members looking for a home. The notion of finding a group to play with, one that you can spend potentially years with, and feel comfortable with it’s member-base – this isn’t an easy task. The IGQ was created to help in that by giving guilds a place where they can be specific in what they’re about, the requirements they have, and what they’re looking for in members – while at the same time, giving ‘people looking’ a way in which to search for a potential home based on what their individual needs were.

In March of this year (2011), we brought the newly revamped “version 2” of the IGQ online (replacing the original, limited version, hosted by helloquizzy). As a web developer in real life, I took on the challenge of recreating it from the ground up – a ‘real’ database, new front-end for the quiz, and separate submission area for new guilds. The quiz still focuses on the same ideals it was originally created for, but now takes advantage of a much larger pool of guilds (232 currently, with more added almost daily), along with a home-grown algorithm that measures each question’s “weight” to both the quiz-taker and each guild, in order to provide a more accurate set of results of recommended guilds.

Can you give us an overview of the IGQ?

The quiz is comprised of 37 questions that have been answered by each guild in the database according to their specific needs, requirements, and unique preferences.

When someone takes the quiz, each answer they give is assigned a value based on how close they were to each guild’s answer (closer to the exact guild answer, the higher the potential value), and uses it to tally up the final numbers at the end. Some questions have different weights (total value) which can also impact the results, so it’s very possible to be on the opposite end of the scale in regards to one specific question, yet still match the guild in almost every other respect – the quiz takes this into account through it’s algorithm and finds the “match” based on the totality of the answers, then returns the top 5 closest guilds as results. Users can also limit the guild pool initially by selecting from a few filters at the beginning like language, age limits, and faction (server names, types, and regions will be added in as soon as the information becomes available).

For a first time-user, how would you best sum up the function of the IGQ? And what’s the difference between someone looking for their first guild in their first mmo, and a veteran of different games and guilds?

I think the easiest way to summarize the IGQ is that it’s essentially a match-making tool, one that in this specific scenario, helps match you to a group rather than an individual. By having guilds each run through the exact same set of questions, it’s a straight comparison between their needs and yours, and with having such a large number of quality guilds making up the database, the chances of finding that “ideal” match is much higher than traditional searching methods.

The only real difference in experience of the quiz-taker, in my opinion, is in recognizing their own needs and translating that out to what a guild would have for compatibility. An experienced MMO/Guild vet might be able to answer the quiz quicker because they already know (through their experience) what it is they want (and what kinds of guilds realistically exist), but it’s still the same for a newer person as well. The hard part is when looking for a guild that doesn’t exist, or having unrealistic expectations that don’t ever seem to match with anyone else – by having a larger database of guilds included already, the chances of this become less and less as more get added in, but there is still that chance that a potential result just doesn’t match up completely. The IGQ isn’t perfect. there are no guarantees – but the potential is positive, and the tool is just one addition to the arsenal one could use to help make finding that “Ideal Guild” possible.

How does an interested guild go about being added to the list?

The request process can be initiated by sending an email to support@tortoolbox.com indicating that the guild would like to be included – we have a few staff members that handle requests and will respond back with the steps to be added (it’s a pretty quick process).

What possibilities exist should BioWare create a similar portal to the WoW Armory, for changing the IGQ?

They’ve hinted about the idea of opening up the API to external services thereby allowing fan sites and application developers a way to “hook” into game data, so I’m hopeful that should they decide to create something along the lines of the armory, that we’ll be able to use that same information and auto-populate some of the information the IGQ relies on for it’s database. The possibilities are really just open right now and will depend on what they decide to add, and what they make available – we’ll adapt when we find out more.

What could guilds do to help you populate the IGQ?

Send us an email to support@tortoolbox.com and request to be included!! This is a tool for the community and relies on the community itself for it’s success – the larger the database, the more likelihood that both quiz-takers will find the home they’ve been looking for, and guilds will see new members without having to go out and find them.

Are there any additional features or functions we could see in the future?

At some point I’d like to add in a “Stats” page that shows trends, percentages of how guilds answered certain questions versus quiz-takers, analysis and metrics of results frequencies to give feedback to the included guilds – I think it would be a great way for guilds to be able to adjust their answers and tweak things if they aren’t getting many applicants referred through the quiz.

We’ll also be waiting to see what Bioware does in regards to the “Armory” question and brainstorming to see what new features we could add in if they allow access (via an API) to game data – the future is really open at this point.

Any parting words for our readers who are about to head over to the IGQ and fill it out?

The IGQ has been very successful so far, many guilds leaders have mentioned gaining new members simply by them adding themselves to the quiz’s database, so look at it as something that the community itself helped to create. We worked with many different guild leaders when we revamped the quiz to make sure that the questions covered the widest scope possible, and gave the highest chance of success in the results given at the end.

At the end of the quiz, there’s a feedback section which I encourage all quiz-takers to fill out (comments are always welcome), and if you find that ideal guild based on what the quiz recommended (or not), spread the word!!

Our goal is to make the IGQ the “Go-To” resource for any and all that want to find a guild for SW:TOR, and even if we have our heads in the clouds for that dream, as I’ve told all guild leaders recently, “The more people that are aware of it will translate to more potential recruits for your guild” – affirmation by those that take the quiz is one of the best ways to get new community members to know about it.

  1. I tried this and it seems pretty cool. It suffers from one fatal flaw (and hopefully easily corrected!) though–there is no way to specify when the guild is most active (for instance, when they raid). I live on the west coast and can only play once my kids and wife have gone to bed, so I need a guild that raids at a very specific (late) time. If you were to add this feature it would be invaluable!

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